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Crohns and joint & muscle pain
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Crohns and joint & muscle pain

I have had Crohns for over 25 years and have had three resections in 1984, 2001 & 2007 I have been on various drugs over the years and had good and bad years, for around a year now I have been on infleximab by infusion, Methotrexate tablets as well as taking Questran to help digestion, folic acid and 3 monthly B12 injections.
I have had some trouble over the years with stiff joints in my hands, mostly in winter, but around four months ago I started getting real pain in my hands and fingers followed by them swelling, this then started in my feet and ankles, legs, knees, arms elbows and shoulders and seems to move from one place to the other on a 2-3 day basis, it sometimes even changes from being severe to the point of not being able to use my hands to just a slight pain and completely moved to, say a knee or a foot over night, my only respite now is too many pain killers and complete rest, as soon as I work (I don't to anything too manual these days) or take some exorsize one or another, or several of my limbs will be extremely painfull or sore to touch, the pain is not confined to my joints, in fact there is not always pain in the joint more around it and in cases up my arm or leg, more like, and it changes, tendon or muscle pain. Yesterday my ankle was swollen and painfull enough to cause me to limp and my calf muscle felt as though I had a cramp in it every time I put my foot to the floor. The strangest thing is this continuing changing of the area that gives most pain.
I am coming to the end of my tether with this, my Doctors keep telling me its to do with the Crohns, we will have to do more tests etc.etc. my Crohns has been very good as far as I am concerned for some time now, although I have recently had a pillcam which seems to reveal that the Crohns is active but there is nowhere to go medically, looking like the only option is more surgery, if the surgery would get rid of the new symptoms while the Crohns stays at bay, great but I am now 54 and not keen on yet more surgery when I feel in myself that this is a seperate issue from the Crohns.
Any help at all would be appreciated, if any one else experienced anything like this or any proffesionals out there have heard of similar symptoms please get in touch through this site or direct to ***@**** Thanks.
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483733_tn?1326802046
There are some arthritis types that can go with IBD and they can run tests to determine that as well as some xrays.  You need to see a rheumatologist.  However, based on your symptoms I would suggest you also have your thyroid tested and also look into fibromyalgia.  In the mean time increase your intake of potassium rich foods (potatoes, bananas, gatorade, etc.) and try taking a magnesium supplement.  Good luck and I hope you can get some answers.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,
I was diagnosed 40 yrs ago, when 25 yrs, with Crohn's/Colitis (disease in the small intestine around the ileum, and the first part of the colon). I was very well in my 30's, but in my forties had a number of severe rectal haemorrhages. No other significant problems, except getting Leishmaniasis from an abandoned dog left outside our villa when we lived in southern Spain.  As I have become older, more complications have occurred; twice hospitalised recently with erysipelas, and last year, a blood clot in my collapsed lung,, which my many doctors can't figure out, except it may have come from my breast cancer, that had spread to my axillary lymph nodes, and to cap it all, my pancreas has packed up - a rare complication of Crohn's., which is controlled by taking Creon enzymes when I eat meals, or have a rare snack.  I had my first resection last year (a right hemicolectomy) which was more difficult than the two surgeries for my breast cancer, but I am still here...happy and living.

Meantime through 25 yrs of steroids, I have osteoporosis (diagnosed through various DEXA scans), and osteo-arthritis of both hands, hips and feet.  This has brought its' own problems, much like yours...left hip hurts on walking or sleeping on my right side; feet hurt after an hour or so standing doing cooking etc., and now I have just been diagnosed with soft tissue damage in my right shoulder and have started physio, which is helping.

When I sit down (rarely!), with my feet on a footstool, my calves ache....saw my GP and he prescribed Glucosamine (at least 1,500 mg per day) and this has helped the pain and aching. I also tale Calcichew/Vit.D twice daily. I have regular 2 monthly B12 shots as my terminal ileum was grossly scarred, and was resected last year.

As far as active Crohn's is concerned, the new pillcam will not really help....it may show some inflammation in either or both small and large intestines, but it cannot take biopsies, which is the ultimate diagnosis with pathology reports, and important to rule out cancer of either intestine, although rare in the small intestine.

I too have occasional pain in the groin, thought it may be a hernia, but guess it is just another complication of Crohn's in the lower colon.

I cannot really advise you on pain meds...I only take codeine phosphate before retiring, as my Gastro suggested it, to slow down my motility overnight.  I also take two loperamide on rising (as early as 4 am) with pain in my lower abdomen and a much needed bowel movement, which does ease the pain. I then take two  more loperamide before eating a light breakfast - boiled egg and a piece of home made organic white bread. Still get diarrhea within an hour, but then it stops, and I don't get diarrhea after our evening meal at 6 pm.

As Trudie suggested I have had my thyroid tested recently, it is fine,. and I have seen numerous IBD Nurtritionists at my hospital, but quite frankly, they know less than I do. I keep to a high protein, high carb, low fat, low fibre diet, plenty of liquids, and my gastro and specialised IBD nurse are in agreement. I would not advocate taking any supplement without your gastro's approval. I have 2 weekly comprehensive blood tests, and if I need supplements or dietary supplements they advise me.. I don't believe you can take dietary supplements without your gastro's concurrence, with such a serious incurable disease.

Hope this helps...it is a long hard hard with Crohn's...and I do empathasise...I told my gastro I found breast cancer treatment duck soup compared to this foul disease and he concurred.

Take care,
Liz.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had the EXACT same thing happen to me...and still is happening. I found out that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. I found through reseach that a lot of the time when you have one auto-immune disease, another one is lurking. I was diagnose with Crohns and two years later with the R/A. What a life! I am now filing for disability (what a pain and humiliating). I want to work, I have worked since I was 14. Believe me, if I had a choice, I would be working. But I never know when it will flare and when it will be ok. I have been on Remicade, Cimzia and now Humira, along with Methotrexate and Prednisone. Nothing is working. But I guess God has a plan, just waiting for it to take action. I hate sitting at home and doing nothing....the docs say to exersize, however, when the bottom of my feet are too swolen to even wear shoes and my knees and hands are swollen as well as ankles, wrists, fingers, I am not sure what exercizes will work, plus there is so much pain, I am at my wits end with it all. But I try to keep positive. It's hard though. WIthout my income, we are now in bankruptcy and facing the loss of our home. So, it doesn't just affect you, it affects everyone in your family and your friends too. no one knows what to do.
Sorry just venting a little. Check into a Rheumatologist. Hopefully you can get some relief. I know what you are going through and it sux.
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Avatar_m_tn
i take transfomation professional digest enzme supplement and probiotic at work for me
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Avatar_f_tn
I have Ulcerative Colitis,  very severe througout my entire colon!!!! AND THESE SYMPTOMS SOUND LIKE WHAT I AM DEALING WITH!! ON HUMIRA HAVE HAD TO TAKE STEROIDS TOO JUST READY TO GET THE SURGERY DONE IF ONY THE DR WILL LISTEN!! YES I AM 32 BUT I HAVE 2 KIDS AND A WONDERFUL I WANT TO LIVE FOR!!!!!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
ever had your vitamin D checked? I have had crohns forever I guess now looking back. I had an emergency appadectamy bacy in 2010 then diagnosed with crohns and UC I have had the same joint pain on and off since 1990 . A month ago I had some intensive blood work done and I was really low on vitamin D.I take 2 one a day mens health a 5000IU supplement a day and a prescription of 50,000 once a week and my joint pain is practically gone. I still have a lot of dry skin and cramps, diarria, and most like everyone else but with out the joint pain it sure makes me feel better. Good Luck we all need some of that
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